Heinlein’s Brief Career in the Missouri National Guard

Early in 1924 Robert Heinlein was notified by the Senate Judiciary Committee that Senator James A. Reed had nominated him to Annapolis, but there was no guarantee when the actual appointment would come through.  In January of 1924 Robert lied about his age and joined the Missouri National Guard when he was only sixteen and still in high school.  During that same period Robert was advanced to LTC in ROTC at his high school.  Later that summer Robert was promoted to corporal and was extremely proud of his chevrons.  One year after joining the National Guard Robert was notified that he had been accepted into the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD.  Heinlein was discharged from the 110th Engineers, Company C of the Missouri National Guard in June of 1925, with a promotion from buck sergeant to staff sergeant so he could take his promotion to the Academy.  In his year and a half in the NG he went from buck private to staff sergeant, and was discharged before his eighteenth birthday.  Pretty impressive!  Recently, the Missouri State Archive posted a photo of his enlistment papers!

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